THE following work is based upon a course of lectures and recitations which the author has given, during the last few years, to the Junior class of the Electrical Engineering Department of the Sheffield Scientific School.
It has been the author's aim to present the subject in such a manner as to enable the student to acquire a firm grasp of the fundamental principles of Mechanics and to apply them to problems with the minimum amount of mental effort. In other words economy of thought is the goal at which the author has aimed. It should not be understood, however, that the author has been led by the tendency toward reducing text-books to collections of rules, mnemonic forms, and formula*. Rules and drill methods tend toward the exclusion of reasoning rather than toward efficiency in thinking. The following features of the treatment of the subject may be noted:
In order to make the book suitable for the purposes of more than one class of students more special topics are discussed than any one class will probably take up. But these are so arranged as to permit the omission of one or more without breaking the logical continuity of the subject.
In deciding on the order of the topics discussed two more or less conflicting factors have been kept before the eye, i.e., to make the treatment logical, yet to introduce as few new concepts at a time as possible. It is to secure the second of these ends, for instance, that the historical order